Famous Western classical music composer Bernard Hatink has died at 92

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Dutch conductor Bernard Hattink was widely regarded as the best of his generation (Photo credit: Tolga Ekmen / AFP)

Dutch conductor Bernard Hattink was widely regarded as the best of his generation (Photo credit: Tolga Ekmen / AFP)

London: Briton Askonas Holt said in a statement on Thursday evening that the Dutch maestro, honored for his reading of Beethoven, Mahler and Brueckner during a career spanning more than 60 years, died at his home in the presence of his family.

Hattink was known for his complacency despite his fame and a light touch as a conductor who did not oversee the musical contributions of the orchestra he was conducting. Born in Amsterdam, Heitink played the violin before learning to conduct in the city, making his debut with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in 1954. In 1956 he first took the podium with the Royal Concertgebou Orchestra before to become its main leader. In a relationship that will last for more than two decades.

Hightink became Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic in 1967, a position he held for more than a decade. He also had a long relationship with Britain’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where he was Music Director from 1987 to 2002.

As one of classical music’s most distinguished conductors, he has conducted some of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and Berlin Philharmonic.

Askonas Holt said Hatink had made over 450 recordings and was “a passionate mentor to future generations of conductors, giving generously of their time to teaching and masterclasses.” Among the many awards he has received during an illustrious career, he was a French knight of the Order of Arts and Letters and was appointed Commander of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands.

He married four times and had five children from his first marriage.


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